Knicks C Kyle O'Quinn is having a career year in his third year in New York. Too bad he may be playing his way out.
O'Quinn's four-year, $16 million contract still has one season left on it before free agency. However, he has the choice to opt-out at the end of the season, and based on his numbers, he may have suitors this offseason. His production was the reason the Knicks shipped Willy Hernangomez to the Hornets, and it was his hard work and dedication that began last offseason that O'Quinn believes made this year so far.
"Fans play a big part -- their opinion matter," O'Quinn told The Post's Marc Berman. "At the end of the day, coach's decision trumps everybody. He decides who is going to play. I trusted what I did over the summer. I'm trying not to say anything too good about myself, but I earned my spot. I realldy don't care what anybody else says."
Though O'Quinn came to New York in 2015 after three years with the Magic, it has always been home for the Queens native. The 27-year-old loves being around his mom and family.
But is that enough to keep him in the Big Apple?
"Being next to my mom, my family is the best,'' O'Quinn said. "I can't put no measure on that. But the reality is you couldn't tell me I wouldn't be in Orlando my whole career when they drafted me. Anything can happen. I'm open to anything - just like the trade deadline. I would love to be here the rest of my career.
"I hope this is my best option."
O'Quinn has backed up Enes Kanter all season, and has played phenomenal compared to his other seasons. He is averaging a career-high in points (6.8), rebounds (5.7), assists (1.8), and has 1.1 blocks per game this year. That is why teams were calling at the trade deadline to see if the Knicks were interested in him.
"It was OK - now the trade deadline is over and I don't have to check my Twitter every minute,'' O'Quinn said. "It left me at ease and opened up an opportunity.''
O'Quinn hasn't made up his mind yet with games still left in his current season. Whether it's staying with the Knicks or going elsewhere, he is going to leave it to his agents to figure that out for the time being as he continues his great season.
"I still contact my agency since I'm still paying them,'' O'Quinn said jokingly. "They might as well do some work.''